Dunston Business Village

Dunston Business Village

Million pound business interest free loan scheme for businesses to kick-start development

Posted by | Dunston Business Village, News | No Comments

Businesses with ambitious development plans could benefit from a new round of funding which kick-starts projects and boosts growth. The latest round of the Growing Places Fund is making £1 million available in interest-free loans to support infrastructure projects.

Projects could include development of commercial space including retail, housing or connections that will lead to more investment, regeneration and job creation. There is no upper limit for loans, which are interest free, though the minimum amount is £50,000.

The Government fund is delivered by the county council on behalf of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Previous projects using the fund have included office developments, and advanced manufacturing facility, student accommodation and infrastructure provision for industrial development.

The fund supported the expansion of Dunston Business Village, close to Junction 13 on the M6. The award-winning business park is completely occupied with a long waiting list. It has attracted a broad range of companies from all over the UK – relocating to Staffordshire and creating more jobs locally.

In order to meet the high demand for office space, Dunston Business Village added over 50,000 sq ft of office space. The development more than tripled its size. Managing director Adrian McLaughlin said: “I wanted to create an environment where businesses wanted to be and where people wanted to work.

“Most of our businesses employ between one and 60 people and the feedback I receive is how they all enjoy spending their working day here and that Staffordshire is a great location.

“Without the Growing Places Fund, we would not have been able to meet the high demand for our office space, within a reasonable time. It has enabled us to expand at a much quicker rate, which in turn has allowed our clients to expand and take on more employees. The fund has been a great success for our business and has certainly made a dramatic difference to our ability to meet demand.”

Use of the Growing Places fund to support the Dunston Business Village expansion was so successful that Adrian had a second loan application approved to expand the site even further. Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for economic growth Mark Winnington said: “The Growing Places Fund has made a real difference to a range of businesses since it was launched and is now in its 12th round.

“It has enabled extensive development which has brought in business and created jobs. Dunston Business Village is a real Staffordshire success story and expanded to provide a base for even more small businesses which play a vital part in the local economy.

“Adrian and the team at Dunston have done a fantastic job in creating the best environment for these businesses to operate and thrive.”

LEP chairman David Frost CBE said: “The Growing Places Fund is a great scheme providing interest-free or very affordable finance to help local businesses grow and thrive. This funding can really help to speed up businesses’ expansion plans and have a very positive impact on jobs and growth.

“I would urge any firms considering growth plans and who think they could be eligible for support to contact us if they would like further information.”

Businesses can qualify for loans if they are planning a scheme worth £100,000 or more. They can take advantage of an interest free loan if they can repay the money within two years of their project being completed. Beyond that period interest will be charged at the lowest commercially appropriate level.

Interested businesses can find out more by visiting www.stokestaffslep.org.uk or by calling the Growing Places fund team on 01785 277706.

Philip Atkins OBE, Adrian MacLaughlin and Brian Edwards MBE

Deal cements ongoing joint drive to create jobs and boost growth

Posted by | Bericote Four Ashes, Dunston Business Village, News | No Comments

A deal to support the creation of 3,500 jobs and 660 start-up businesses in South Staffordshire over the next four years has been signed by the county and district councils.

The second South Staffordshire District Deal sets out a four-year plan which will also see the creation of a skills federation to enable young people to meet the needs of local employers and work clubs set up to support people back into employment. A new health and wellbeing programme will be established for district residents.

It will build on successes achieved in the district at i54 South Staffordshire a now home to leading global businesses with a workforce of over 3,000 people a and at the Bericote Four Ashes site where automotive parts manufacturer Gestamp will be relocating its operations and 800 employees. With the former munitions site at Featherstone set for imminent development; the drive to attract new investment will continue as part of the deal.

The deal will demonstrate a commitment to ever closer working between the two councils as the move towards full locally retained business rates draws nearer. Its signing took place ahead of the start of the first Staffordshire Business Festival a a celebration of the countyas economic success and entrepreneurial drive.

Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins OBE said: aOur two councils already work closely together to bring in major investors and create the right environment for businesses of all sizes. The achievements at i54 South Staffordshire have been recognised as a leading national example of how councils can work together to bring jobs and investment to their area. Weare getting the mix of big business and smaller enterprises right as Dunston Business Village demonstrates. Weare also delivering essential infrastructure like superfast broadband to boost connection and productivity. This all creates increased opportunities and more prosperous, healthier communities.a

Councillor Brian Edwards MBE, leader of South Staffordshire Council, said, aIam delighted that our two councils have signed the second District Deal for South Staffordshire. Building on the foundations of the original, this deal will help increase economic growth across the district and create conditions for new and existing businesses to thrive. Our strong partnership with Staffordshire County is helping deliver a skilled and prosperous district and together we are attracting more investment and jobs into the area.a

Philip signed the deal with Brian Edwards MBE at the districtas award-winning Dunston Business Village. The village, run by Adrian MacLaughlin, is currently expanding. There are 58 companies currently operating there.

Adrian said: aDunston Business Village is home to a broad range of companies which demonstrates Staffordshireas diverse and thriving economy. We are currently expanding and look forward to welcoming new businesses very soon. Businesses tell us that the village is an attractive place to work and to bring clients and weare in a great location. Staffordshire itself is an excellent place to do business and itas encouraging to see our councils working together to support economic growth and increase prosperity in the county.a

The first District Deal, launched in 2013, laid the foundations to closer working, shared resources and improving employment skills in the district.

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